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Fundamental Rights petitions challenges arrest of Hejaaz Hizbullah

A Fundamental Rights applications has been filed at Sri Lanka's Supreme Court, challenging the arrest and detention of Hejaaz Hizbullah.

Junior counsels of Hizbullah, Chalana Perera, Jegatheeswary Muthusamy and Shifan Maharoof, have challenged the legality of the arrest as it was premised on an unwarranted raid of his chambers. The raid was conducted by officers of the Criminal Investigations Department who took two briefs into their possession, in violation of privileged communication between clients and lawyers

On this matter, they stated that to their knowledge;

 “No permission was obtained, nor intimation was made to Magistrate or Attorney General prior to the search or the entry and search of the Chambers.”

They further claim that the unlawful arrest and detention has posed a serious impediment on their work and has caused difficulty in continuing their professional functions without interference or fear. They also note considerable financial instability as a result of this.

In their Fundamental Rights applications, they cite the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department, the Officer in Charge of the CID, and the Officer in Charge of Special Investigations Unit 3 among others as the Respondents.

These matters will be taken up in conjunction with further Fundamental Rights petitions filed on behalf of Hizbullah on 1 June. 

In the petition the junior counsels’ defend the reputation of their chambers stating:

“The Chambers treats the matters it is handling with the utmost confidence and professional privilege and confidentiality is attached to briefs, matters and clients connected with the Chambers.”

The junior counsels were working full time under the direction of Hizbullah. Counsel Eraj De Silva with Daminda Wijesuriya instructed by Vidanapathirana Associates appeared on behalf of the Petitioners.

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute has raised concern over Hizbullah case and have called for an assurance of due process.

Read more here: IBAHRI urges due process in the case of Heejaz Hizbullah

Read more from Financial Times LK.

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